Shadow Ray and the Great Pyramid

January 02, 2011

Photographer: Aymen Ibrahem
Summary Author
: Aymen Ibrahem; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the Great Pyramid of Giza (Cheops) and a shaft of sunlight in a misty sky, seemingly reclining on one of the pyramid’s edges. It was taken on the morning of December 3, 2010, when the pyramids were veiled in a thick radiation fog -- visibility was below about 600 ft (183 m). When I snapped this picture, the fog was beginning to evaporate. The shaft of light is actually a crepuscular ray from the just rising Sun. The Great Pyramid, which stands at 451 ft (138 m), is blocking the Sun and thus shadowing its west face. However, fog droplets carry the sunlight forward, well beyond the pyramid’s east-facing flank.

Photo details: Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: DSC-H5; Focal Length: 6.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0005 s (1/2000); ISO equiv: 125; Exposure Bias: -1.30 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Landscape Mode; Exposure Mode: Manual;White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No; Color Space: sRGB.